Wales may be one of the best places in the UK for wild swimming with so many different lakes, tarns, ponds, lagoons, and an impressive coastline there are endless opportunities for wild swimming!
Just make sure to grab your wetsuit and check out 8 of my favourite spots for wild swimming in Wales!
A few notes on swimming in Wales: There are plenty of wild locations to enjoy across Wales but it’s also important to recognise your own limits and stay safe. The vast majority of lagoons, waterfalls and lakes are not manned and can be a significant distance from facilities or other services, so always implement personal safety and let others know where you intend to swim.
What is wild swimming?
Wild swimming is essentially swimming outdoors in natural spaces, such as rivers, lakes or the sea. Over the past few years, there has been a big rise in wild swimming across the country which has been put down to people seeking alternative exercise regimes, wanting to immerse themselves in the great outdoors.
Is Wild swimming safe?
Wild swimming is safe, but only if you follow guidelines, know your own ability and follow proper safety measures. Swimming, in general, is a fun activity which can be enjoyed by everyone, but outdoor swimming does have its dangers.
Over the past decade, the rivers in the UK have become cleaner than they’ve ever been due to the fantastic work agencies like The River Trust, and The Environmental Agency. It is a great time to embrace wild water swimming!
“92.4% of our bathing waters were at Good or Excellent status in 2018. In 1995 over half would have failed.” – The Environmental Agency
Best wild swimming spots near Wales
1. Blue Lagoon, Pembrokeshire
Walk to pool: 7 minutes- 0.3 miles
Where to park: Abereiddy Beach car park SA62 6DT
OS Grid reference: SM7954 3147
A favourite among sea swimmers and cliff jumpers the blue lagoon is a beautiful spot for a swim in the sea! The turquoise water is refreshing to say the least but those brave enough to take a dip are rewarded with a stunning view and the opportunity to climb up the black slate steps for a jump into the depths!
2. Henrhyd Falls, Brecon Beacons
Walk to pool: 15 minutes- 0.6 miles
Where to park: Carpark at 33 Dol Henrhyd, Coelbren, Neath SA10 9PG
OS Grid reference: SN85384 11931
One for the waterfall and batman fans! This beautiful fall was also the location chosen for the Bat cave in Christopher Nolan’s the dark knight rises- you can follow a trail leading to the exact cave from the fall. Surrounded by lush greenery and natural rock formations this spot is not to be missed!
Other recommended blog posts
- 48 best wild swimming near me + map
- Best wild swimming in the Peak District
- Best wild swimming in Dartmoor National Park
- Best wild swimming near London
- Best wild swimming spots in The Yorkshire Dales
3. Keeper’s Pond, Blaenavon
Walk to pool: Parking next to Pond
Where to park: Pontypool NP4 9QT
OS Grid reference: SO25448 10839
Keeper’s Pond also known as Pen-Ffordd-Goch Pond is a wonderful location for an afternoon dip or even paddle board! Located right next to a small car park it is great for those not looking to walk too far for their swim!
4. Blue Pool Bay, Gower
Walk to pool: 15-20 minutes – 1 mile
Where to park: Llangennith, Swansea SA3 1JL
OS Grid reference: SS40943 93079
This pool may only be accessible at low tide but as long as you get your timings right you are in for a treat! This beautiful pool looks out over the secluded bay and is a great spot for wildlife watchers, with many different birds frequenting this area!
5. Skenfrith Castle, Monmouthshire
Walk to pool: Parking is next to Castle ruins
Where to park: Skenfrith National Trust NP7 8UH
OS Grid reference: SO45737 20295
A wild swimming experience you aren’t likely to forget, here you can swim in the shadow of a 13th century castle! There is an easy walk into the water and with plenty of space Skenfrith is perfect for an amazing swim.
Other recommended blog posts
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- 48 hours in Amsterdam
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- Surfing in Sagres
- Glamping Ireland: Top 17 unique stays on Airbnb
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6. Llyn Cau, Cadair Idris
Walk to pool: 1 hour 15 minutes – 1.5 miles
Where to park: Dôl Idris car park Tywyn LL36 9AJ
OS Grid reference: SH7174 1237
It’s a steep 350m ascent to this glacial pool but once you arrive, you’ll find it was definitely worth it! This beautiful pool is a perfect spot to cool off after a morning hike, even if you weren’t hot when you set off, you definitely will be after the climb up here.
7. Borth Beach, Ceredigion
Walk to pool: 5 minutes – Parking next to beach
Where to park: Cambrian Terrace Borth, Ceredigion SY24 5HU
OS Grid reference: SN6068 9006
This gorgeous 3 mile stretch of beach may not be the wildest of places, but it is perfect for a sea swim! The shallow sand banks and nice underfoot shingle surface make this beach perfect for getting in and out of the sea easily.
8. Llanberis Infinity Pool, Snowdonia
Walk to pool: 30-45 minutes
Where to park: Parking available alone A4086 – See OS reference below
OS Grid reference: SH62809 S6696 – Starting point for walk
A now not so secret infinity pool this swimming spot was built in 2016 by a farmer and quickly became a popular spot!
However, the exact location is still a tightly kept secret and is left to the explorer to discover, a few tips to help you though: Check Google Earth- it’s easy to spot as its shape is a quick giveaway! The power of social media is also very useful to find the exact location! Good luck!
Which of these wild swimming spots in Wales will you be heading to?
Other wild swimming spots in the UK
9. Burton Bradstock, Dorset
10. Llyn Cau, Snowdonia
11. Waveney River, Suffolk
12. Willen Lake, Milton Keynes
13. Tellisford, Somerset
14. Derwentwater, Keswick
15. Mermaid’s Pool, Derbyshire
16. Clevedon Marine Lake, Bristol
17. Port Meadow, Oxford
18. Pedn Vounder, Treen, West Cornwall
19. Dundas Aquaduct, Bath
20. Rydal Water, Lake District
21. Bicester Performance Lake
22. West Lydford, Somerset
23. Black Moss Pot (Langstrath)
24. Marsh Lock, Henley
25. Buttermere, Lake District
And remember if you are near the sea, you don’t need rivers and lakes and instead can do wild swimming in the ocean. You could team a swim up with coastal walks near me and spend the day by the coast.
It really is worth joining the Outdoor Swimming Society as they have 25,000 members and it’s the biggest wild swimming group in the UK and it’s free to join.
Check out some of these books on wild swimming too, if you want to learn even more.
- We like Wild Swim, by Kate Rew
- Wild Swimming by Daniel Start
- Wild Swimming: Hidden Beaches by Daniel Start
- Wild Swimming Walks (Dartmoor and South Devon) by Sophie Pierce and Matt Newbury
- Wild Swimming Walks (London) by Margaret Dickinson
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